The Case for Closing the School of the Americas Print


Bill Quigley

Copyright © 2005 Brigham Young University; Bill Quigley

On the morning of November 16, 1989, Salvadoran soldiers made their way into the Pastoral Center at the Central American University in San Salvador. They ordered five Jesuit priests to go outside and lie face down on the ground, where they were subsequently shot and killed. A sixth priest, the housekeeper, and her 16 year-old daughter were then murdered inside the residence. The Jesuits had been labeled "subversives" by the Salvadoran government for speaking out against the socioeconomic structure of Salvadoran society.

Of the twenty-six soldiers subsequently implicated in the murders of the Jesuit priests and women in El Salvador, nineteen had received training at the School of the Americas. Three officers had received some human rights training while at the school. Additionally, one soldier had attended the Special Forces Officer Course at Ft. Bragg in late 1988 and early 1989.

The battalion to which these soldiers belonged was being trained by U.S. Army Special Forces in El Salvador in the days before and after the murders.

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